Govt committed to implementing export-driven growth strategy: Dawood

LAHORE: The federal government is committed to mitigating the challenges being faced by the country and in this regard would soon implement an export-driven growth strategy, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said on Wednesday.

He was talking to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh through a teleconference.

Dawood said the government was rectifying all those matters that went wrong in the past and was taking facilitation steps to ensure wider market access to businessmen.

He said the engineering and other sectors were also being focused for exports.

The adviser said he was persuading Pakistani manufacturers to send their products outside the country in quantity terms to attain better market share.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh asked the adviser to grant special permission to industries for loading export cargo and release refunds of export-oriented industries on an immediate basis to pump in more liquidity.

He appreciated the government’s initiative to enhance the country’s exports growth after the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sheikh said the government should revive zero-rating facility for export industries and release income tax refunds of Rs100 billion.

“The government should not charge payments for DTRE and DLTL so that the issue of refunds was not created,” he suggested, adding that special permission should be granted for transportation of labour of export industries.

The government should re-allow BMR (Balancing, Modernization and Replacement) Tax Credit of 10 per cent under Section 65B of Income Tax Ordinance, the LCCI president recommended.

He said to reduce the cost of doing business for the local industry, gas tariff should be reduced and income tax exemption certificates on electricity bills should be allowed for all the industries.

Sheikh said the federal and provincial governments needed to publicly announce the approval for exporters, so that all government functionaries i.e administration and law enforcers should honour that approval, citing that this announcement would also help media to understand that exporters were allowed by the government to complete their pending export orders.

The LCCI president said various essential food items in Pakistan were imported from Australia, Canada and Myanmar, and there was a chance that these countries might stop their exports of essential food items.

“The government should have a backup plan of finding substitute markets for importing essential food items on emergency basis.”

He said export industries across all sectors, which confirmed export orders, should be allowed to operate during the lockdown period, adding a special mechanism should be devised by the government in this regard.

He said workers spent eight hours in factories, so companies could not be held responsible for workers’ conduct outside their work premises subject to the coronavirus.

He said premises should not be either raided or sealed in case of possible cases.

Sheikh said due to the closure of airspace, the courier companies like DHL and FEDEX were not operating in Pakistan as a result documents of importers were stuck in China, while their consignments had arrived at the Karachi Port.

The government should give a special provision to facilitate importers for releasing import consignments against copied documents with the payment of shipping guarantee, which was equal to 100pc of margin value, he suggested.

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